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MOSCOW, January 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday it will no longer negotiate the amount of natural gas to be supplied to Ukraine in 2012 and said Ukrainian statements to reduce gas imports to 27 billion cubic meters did not comply with the terms of the contract signed in 2009.
“The time for discussing contracted amounts in 2012 has been lost. Unfortunately, we have to again remind our Ukrainian friends that gas supply terms on the market are determined only by contract and cannot be changed by letters in a unilateral way,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.
Ukraine’s Naftogaz said it had timely informed Gazprom about plans to cut the amount of imported Russian gas to 27 billion cubic meters in 2012 and referred to the contracted option of reducing the agreed amount by 20 percent. The company said it sent a corresponding letter to Gazprom last May.
But Kupriyanov said “no documents to change the volume of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine have been signed” and Ukraine has never raised the issue of decreased imports at talks on reducing the price for Russian gas.
“Most likely it (the price) suits them,” he said.
The spokesman recalled Ukraine has to buy 52 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia this year. The envisaged 20 percent reduction “even theoretically cannot decrease it to 27 billion cubic meters,” he said.
On Wednesday Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller informed President Dmitry Medvedev about Ukrainian plans. “Ukraine made the statement without any agreement with the Russian side,” he said adding such agreement should have been reached at least half a year in advance. Miller also said the take-or-pay term remains valid for any non-agreed decrease in supplies.
In 2011 Ukraine consumed over 60 billion cubic meters of gas of which 40 billion came from Russia.
Also on Thursday Ukraine sad it produced 20.1 billion cubic meters of gas in 2011 which is a 0.4-percent increase against 2010. Although Naftogaz accounted for nearly 90 percent of the output its overall production fell 1.2 percent because of poor performance of its Ukrneft Oil Company.
Ukrainian government said domestic refineries decreased the purchases of Russian crude to 4.7 million tons in 2011 which is 21.5 percent less than in 2010. Oil imports from Azerbaijan fell 56.3 percent to 704.7 thousand tons. Petrol production fell 8 percent in 2011 to 2.8 million tons.